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Church transforming into art gallery and theater

Posted at 2:22 PM, Jun 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-28 14:22:35-04

The Methodist-Episcopal church at the corner of Richmond Avenue and West Ferry Street has sat vacant for years, but that's soon changing.

Tuesday, the developers in charge of restoring the building at 467 Richmond opened the doors to show a glimpse of things to come.

"Each of our neighborhoods in the broader community need as many of these spaces coming online as possible," Owner Rachel Heckl said. "Each of them, serving their own niche and their own neighborhood."

The master plan includes an art gallery, a performing arts theater, apartments and business space. 

Restoration is expected to be done by next summer, something neighbors and developers say is long overdue. 

"Myself, and several other people that are developing this project actually live within a few blocks of here, so we are part of the neighborhood." Co-Developer Tyra Johnson-Hux explained. "We care about this neighborhood and we want to see it flourish and this will be an important component of that."

There's still plenty of work to be done, but Heckl says the future is bright.

"If you're walking by the space now, and you don't see the doors open, next summer you'll see the doors open and you'll be able to wake up and say by this evening I'm probably going to a performance just down the street."